7 things to know before renting your home on Airbnb in the event of a pandemic
Over the past five months, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed almost everything about how Americans travel. Many are avoiding airplanes in favor of cars. And rather than shell out for a huge pool and all-you-can-eat margaritas at a massive resort, they relax within the relatively safe and secluded confines of a cute little cabin or cabin they found on Airbnb.
So what does this mean for the many landlords who are currently renting out their properties on Airbnb, VRBO, or other short-term rental sites, or for people who are considering this opportunity to make some extra cash?
It means making some adjustments. At the best of times, managing a successful short-term rental isn’t easy, and the coronavirus has complicated matters further. Still, if you have space that you don’t need to use in a vacation-friendly area, turning it into a rental could net you a nice sum of money.
So if you are thinking of renting out your home, there are a few things you need to know about how the coronavirus has affected short-term rentals. Here are seven things every Airbnb host should know that could help you decide if this venture is worth trying.
1. Despite what you may think, Airbnb hosts aren’t rolling in the dough
In April, some states banned or restricted short-term rentals, including Florida, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Vermont. And even in the states that allowed these rentals to continue, many people who had reserved seats ended up canceling out of fear of catching COVID-19.
As a result, many short-term rental hosts first took a big hit on income.
Anne Cobbler, an Airbnb superhost that rents a property in Greensboro, North Carolina, says its Airbnb revenues have fallen 14% since the start of the pandemic. Almost all of her bookings from March through September were canceled, although she was able to recover money later through last minute bookings.
Ryan fitzgerald, who manage two Airbnb rentals in Raleigh, North Carolina, has also lost significant income due to COVID-19.
“My income as a host has gone from an average of over $ 10,000 a month to halfway through April and May,” he says. “We have lost all of our reservations [those two months], which resulted in more than $ 20,000 in [lost income]. “
2. Now that quarantine restrictions are loosening, rental income could rebound
The good news? Now that shelter-in-place orders are slackening, most states have started to lift restrictions on short-term rentals. As a result, many short-term rental hosts have noticed an increase in bookings after COVID-19 that could rebound their income in a big way.
“Most regional vacation rental markets are experiencing a boom after COVID-19, as most people are dying to leave their homes,” says Avery carl, who rents six units on Airbnbs in Tennessee and Florida. “We are getting higher prices per night than ever in both markets. “
Of course, that could end if infection rates with the coronavirus continue to rise. Keep up to date with local news and regulations in your area.
3. Although bookings are down overall, last minute bookings are on the rise
While most Airbnb hosts have experienced canceled reservations in March and April, last-minute bookings have increased for many hosts. The shoemaker, for example, saw an increase in last-minute bookings in May and June.
Connor griffiths, who manages two rentals on Airbnb in British Columbia, Canada, also saw an increase in last minute bookings.
“I’ve noticed that customers book more last minute than in previous years,” he says. “They also look for deals and often ask for additional discounts. “
4. A new type of customer has emerged: long-term tenants
Since the coronavirus has many more Americans working from home, this has spawned a new type of tenant: one who, rather than booking for a weekend, wants to go into hiding for a few weeks or months at a time. .
Fitzgerald also recovered some of the money he had lost by providing shelter to a family for an extended period from late March to May.
Carl did the same. “We lost tens of thousands of bookings for March and April, but we were able to break even on all of our properties because of working from home,” she says.
5. Most owners have adapted their cleaning protocols
Fitzgerald says his cleaning protocols have changed to some extent. Instead of doing a deep clean twice a month like he did before, he does a deep clean with every rotation. Also, his cleaning team focused more on things like changing air filters and cleaning door handles, knobs and other surfaces that people are likely to touch often during their stay.
Shoemaker and Fitzgerald also took extra caution by leaving a full day between guests instead of doing rotations on the same day.
6. If you adhere to the new cleaning standards, you will receive a highlight from Airbnb’s announcement.
Airbnb has instructed hosts to use an improved five-step cleaning protocol, according to Shoemaker, which includes a 24-hour wait before entering a property to clean the space. Hosts who adhere to this protocol receive an Enhanced Clean listing highlight, which guests can see when booking, she says.
7. You may receive better reviews by offering equipment suitable for pandemics.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic, which means tenants always want peace of mind about their safety. In addition to following Airbnb’s new cleaning protocol, many hosts have started to donate additional amenities. For example, Shoemaker says she now leaves a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and paper towels for all guests to use at their discretion.
“Every guest is different,” she says. “Some have appreciated this additional measure of caution. “